Veteran Concert Promoters Alex Cooley and Peter Conlon

Atlanta concert promoters Alex Cooley and Peter Conlon along with mutual friend Tom Beard talk about the development of the music scene in Atlanta in an interview with Director of the University of Georgia’s Music Business Program David Barbe, Callie Holmes and Christian Lopez of University of UGA’s Russell Library. The discussion veers from specific music venues (including the Roxy Theater, Omni Coliseum and Philips Arena) to performers (Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and the Allman Brothers Band, among many others) to stories of interactions with local officials. Cooley talks at length about the groundbreaking Atlanta International Pop Festivals of 1968 and 1969, which predated Woodstock, and what it was like to put on festivals of that size at that time in Hampton and Byron, Georgia.

Tom Beard joins Conlon and Cooley in discussing their efforts in engaging musicians and producing rock concerts to raise funds for Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaigns. Beard and Conlon were both Carter staff members and worked closely with Phil Walden of Capricorn Records at the time.

This video is from the Oral History Documentary Collection at the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries. For more on UGA’s Special Collections Libraries including the Peabody Awards Collection, visit

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